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Gospel reflection

December 1, 2019: First Sunday of Advent

Reading: Matthew 24:37-44

(taken from “The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language” by Eugene H. Peterson)

“The arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark.They knew nothing – until the flood hit and swept everything away.

The Son of Man’s arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field – one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill – one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.”


It is not entirely lost on me that anyone who reads this reflection will be doing so on an electronic device of some sort. I have so very many ways that help me avoid being fully awake, fully vigilant and present to all that our Creator calls me to be. Most days, I am just “carrying on as usual.” I find myself scheduling time for quiet and reflection amidst the other “more important” parts of daily living. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Might Advent this year be a time to explore that a little more fully?


Commit to one full hour every day this week without technology. If you are really brave, this might even include having the lights and furnace or air conditioning off in the house for that hour.

Unplug – everything. Use all of your senses to understand how this time feels.

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Alice Shelton

Providence Associate Alice Shelton lives in Indianapolis with her husband John. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and enjoys her work as director of business services at Marian University.

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1 Comment

  1. S. Denise Wilkinson on December 1, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Alice, thank you for using The Message translation. It helped me hear the passage in a new way. Pondering your challenges. I do take an hour every day for prayer so I think I’ll skip turning out lights and furnace. Coward’s way out.

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